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*Why does Owen still offer so much for 21st century co-operators?*

‘Robert Owen and co-operation’ “Among the many movements and ideas that Robert Owen inspired and influenced, co-operation has a claim to be the longest-lasting and most important. The co-operative movement in Britain pre-dated Owen but, from the 1820s, it was infused with his optimism that a better world could be organised around, as he put it, ‘principles of union & co-operation’. Such principles took many forms: communitarian experiments, producer associations, the ‘labour exchange’ movement, and ultimately, the foundation stone of British co-operation, the co-operative store. Although Owen, in this as in so many other cases, moved on rapidly to other enthusiasms after the mid-1830s, his ideas continued to function as a touchstone for co-operators for generations to come. Owen continues to offer much food for thought for twenty-first century co-operators”.

Introduction: Mick Antoniw Labour & Co-operative MS, Counsel General for Wales, Chair, Chris Hall, Chair, Co-ops & Mutuals Wales

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